The Benefits of Glutamine Supplementation

The Benefits of Glutamine Supplementation

What is glutamine, and how can this supplement improve your recovery, reduce stress, and take you strength training to the next level?

Any athlete who truly trains hard understands the importance of recovering well. For if you aren’t recovering from workout to workout, each time you hit the gym you’re essentially moving backwards instead of forward. Why? Because every time you train you tear your muscles down. Proper recovery allows you to rebuild muscle tissue so that you’re able to get bigger, faster, and stronger. No recovery, means no progress... and nobody wants that.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to foster faster recovery rates, includes getting a good night’s sleep, making sure to eat plenty of carbohydrate and protein rich foods (especially after workouts), and keep your day to day stress at a minimum. While you were probably well aware of the first two points, it’s important to note that all forms of stress will tax the central nervous system and factor into your recovery.

But how can you possibly reduce the effects stress has on your body to optimize recovery times? One solution is glutamine supplementation. Glutamine? Continue reading to discover more about one of the best supplements for athletes to help build muscle and recover faster.

Recovery Support
We’ve already touched on glutamine’s key benefit, which is its enhanced recovery properties. Glutamine is an amino acid strongly involved with maintaining a healthy immune system, and believe it or not, it’s your immune system that determines how fast the recovery process takes place.

When you’re highly stressed (an intense workout, finals, a significant other), your muscles release some of their glutamine stores. As your body can’t produce glutamine on its own, these stores are depleted over time, with the only way to restore them through glutamine found in food or supplements. To ensure you’re back to 100% after a lift, it’s ideal to have 5-10 grams of glutamine post-lift, and another 5-10 grams before bed

Improved Digestive Health
Another benefit of glutamine supplementation is the aid it lends to all areas of your digestive system. While this may not be what you thought you were getting into when opening this article (!), glutamine is often used to treat those suffering from gastro-intestinal disorders. Why? Because it helps keep your digestive tract healthy and free from disease (while providing fuel source for the cells lining the intestines).

It may seem inconsequential, but having a healthy digestive system is critically important. After all, it’s your digestive system that helps breakdown and deliver protein and carbohydrates to your muscles after a workout, so if it’s not working properly your body won’t be delivering the nutrients you need at the times you need them most.

Promotes a Healthy Mind
Glutamine also plays a major role in brain function, and can help increase mental alertness while improving mood and memory. Again, whether it’s a big game, a tough lift, or a final exam, we all can acknowledge staying alert factors into performance level. As you train, or go through the course of a day, your glutamine stores decrease and so too does your mental alertness.

Protection Against Overtraining
Finally, the last benefit glutamine supplementation offers is protection from overtraining. As discussed earlier, when training hard, you’re putting excess stress on your body, breaking your immune system down in the process. Glutamine helps to maintain normal white blood cell levels critical to immune system support, and helps to lessen the negative effects stress has on the body in general. Not a bad combination huh? Simply put, glutamine when taken at the right times optimizes recovery and performance so that you can come back stronger every day.

Look, if you’re serious about your athletic performance and want to be at your best throughout the day, consider adding glutamine to your supplement routine. Take it around your training sessions as well as before bed, and properly prepare your body for deep, quick, thorough, recovery.

For some additional Glutamine supplement suggestions, take a look here 1R:

  1. Optimum Nutrition Glutamine 1000 Caps - Supports healthy immune function and helps aid recovery and build lean muscle mass
  2. ISS L-Glutamine - Increases energy levels and protects your hard-earned lean muscle mass
  3. Cytosport L-Glutamine - Needed for immune system support, energy production, and the building and protection of the lean muscle mass when stress is increased on the body
ShareThis
Shannon Clark's picture

About the Author

Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 8 years now. She currently works with a variety of different clients with various goal sets, helping them reach whatever physique goals they have set for themselves. Shannon is a regular contributor to Bodybuilding.com and has also been named ‘Writer Of The Year’ two times running. She has been featured in the Iron Man magazine and has contributed well over 400 articles to a variety of different websites dedicated towards muscle building and athletic performance.For more information on Shannon, please see her website, www.ShannonClarkFitness.com